Since his explosion with RB Salzburg in 2019 and going through his signing for Borussia Dortmund, the name of Erling Braut Haaland has not stopped appearing on specialized sports sites since it always gives people something to talk about, be it for his goals (his many goals), his attitude in interviews, his way of being on social media or because of the countless rumors regarding what his next club is going to be.
It is striking that, since January 2020, when Erling Haaland signed for Borussia Dortmund, it was already rumored about a clause in his contract that could facilitate a future signing for another club or a club’s plan to take him away in one or two seasons. In the case of FC Barcelona, they are in an election period and the candidates have been presenting their promises in case of being elected and one of those candidates, Emili Rousaud, hinted that he had approached the Norwegian striker and that in case of winning, he could make that signing happen. To this must be added the recent information about the interest of Mino Raiola, Erling Haaland’s agent, to bring the Norwegian to the Catalan club.
Now, how would Haaland fit in at Barcelona? If we imagine that the club maintains the current squad base and we consider that the club usually maintains 3 attackers with either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-1-3, Haaland would share an attack with Lionel Messi (in the case he stays) and with Ansu Fati, the young hope of Barcelona.
The Argentine tends to move freely on the pitch, not limited to one side, while Ansu Fati has shown that he is more dangerous as a left winger from where he has the right profile to shoot at goal. In the case of Messi, who is great at assisting, he would find in Haaland the partner that he lost with the departure of Luis Suárez to Atlético de Madrid. Messi could play as attacking midfielder behind the 3 attackers which would leave room to locate Dembéleé, Coutinho, Griezmann or Trincao on the other wing. At Barcelona, wingers tend to play with a changed profile that is to say with ease for shooting at goal and not for crosses, so Haaland’s aerial game would be wasted.
When the Norwegian has space to roam, mainly in counter attacks, it is usually difficult to stop him due to his physical strength and speed and it is an aspect of his game that would not be used as much in Barcelona. It must be remembered that since Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Catalan club does not have a striker of these characteristics and it would require changing several things in the idea and tactics that are proclaimed by Barcelona even from its youth teams.
From a point of view more focused on his career, he may have regular playing time and be highly-regarded there, although the future of the club is a coin in the air since with a new board many changes can come in many different ways, such as new players, managers, etc. The future of Lionel Messi is a critical issue that can be decisive for the future of the institution. On the other hand, from an economic point of view, the signing of Haaland can be very expensive for a club in a delicate financial situation, so it may mean selling other important players or not doing more signings besides the Norwegian.
It can be a bet that can turn out very good or very bad both for the club and for Erling Haaland who, until now, has made good decisions in his career although the influence of Mino Raiola can change that.